Feb 7, 2017

SEC considers dismantling CEO pay-gap disclosure rules

Donald Trump orders his cabinet to review Dodd-Frank regulations. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The GOP's list of grievances against the Dodd-Frank financial reform law is long, but near the top is a rule that requires companies to disclose the ratio between the compensation of its CEO and that of the median worker. The Wall Street Journal reports that an executive order signed last week concerning financial regulation would at least delay the implementation of the rule, which was supposed to go into effect last year.

Why it was included in Dodd Frank: As an effort to create more transparency around CEO pay, and pressure boards into slowing its rise.

What critics say: The ratio is difficult and costly to calculate and gives investors no useful data for evaluating the performance of firms. Furthermore, it may actually encourage companies to outsource more of their labor needs to contractors, a move that could lead to greater economy-wide inequality, even as it lowers intra-firm inequality.

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release three women identified to have signed nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,250 people and infected almost 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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